"We want to provide better guidance for parents, claimed O' Connor, "and remove unsuitable material from children and teenagers. The introduction of an R18+ classification will help achieve that.”
The final decision, however, will have to wait until this Friday, when the Attorneys-General meet, but signs now seem to be massively in favour of Australia finally receiving an adult rating for games.
"We believe that this is the right decision for Australian families and the right decision for parents who want to be able to make informed choices about the games their children play.”
“Children and teenagers shouldn’t be exposed to the gratuitous sex, violence and adult themes that are contained in some computer games,” Mr O’Connor said.
“There are dozens of games that are currently classified as MA15+ in Australia, but in other countries these gaming titles are restricted to adults only.
“If the new category is introduced, it could result in computer games that are currently classified MA15+ being reclassified R18+, providing a new level of protection for children.”
Supporting this decision is a Galaxy survey showing that 80% of the 2,226 surveyed were in support of an R18+ for video games. The survey also showed that 91% of adults would know that an R18+ rated game was unsuitable for children.
Ironically the poll also showed that 81% of South Australians were in support of the R18+ rating - a number higher than the national average. Which just goes to show that Michael Atkinson was going directly against the opinion of the majority of his constituents for the entire time he was in office - but that's just a parting shot!
But the introduction of an R18+ rating still hangs in the balance - it's completely dependent upon the agreement of the Attorneys-General this Friday. However, the statements from Brendan O' Connor and Gillard's government provide the strongest indication yet that we could be on the verge of receiving what Australia has been clamouring after for years: an adult rating for video games.
Stay tuned for the most up-to-date coverage in the coming week.